Thursday, February 5, 2009

Sharing Thoughts with Strangers

Although I was at first disappointed about not getting to sit beside my husband on my recent long plane trip to New York, I discovered how a friend can materialize out of thin air--literally, considering our altitude!--when I started conversing with my seat mate, Donnie. Our conversation began with a handshake and my observation that Donnie looked like a younger Morgan Freeman. He laughed, and his eyes twinkled just like Mr. Freeman's, as he nodded. "I've heard that before," he confessed. From the mundane details about why we were traveling, where we live and where we are from originally, and who makes up our respective families, we soon found ourselves immersed in a heavy discussion about our own childhood experiences (with very similar family dynamics!), our shared philosophies regarding child-rearing and education, our views on love and marriage (we have been married the same number of years), religion and spirituality, life and death....

When the pilot announced we'd be landing, we both smiled with disappointment and told each other how much we'd enjoyed this surprise new friendship's evolution during a plane flight. I gave him my business card and told him to email me if he and his wife ever make the trip to San Diego that they have discussed in the past. I added, "Please don't think I'm just talking. I really mean it--stay in touch. My husband and I befriended a guy on a boat in San Francisco, and he gave us his card and told us to contact him if we ever visit Vancouver. We did visit, last summer, and we all had a fun lunch together. So please, don't hesitate to write, okay?"

I got an email from Donnie two days after I got home. He thanked me for a great conversation, and told me it was "exactly what I needed." Now, how 'bout that for memorable words?

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Memory--the Operative Word!

My friend Cindy and I were teasing each other this morning about which of us was more forgetful, kind of like a battle of "Yo Mama" jokes about dementia--but WE are the Mamas. She assured me that my forgetting to phone someone, or to take the clothes out of the washing machine, merely reflects that I have three jobs--Mom, Writer, Teacher--and am approaching 50. Some assurance, huh?!

Not five minutes after saying goodbye to her, I reached into my cupboard for a cup so that I could take my fish oil capsule (per Cindy's admonition during our morning get-together--oy, do I sound old or what?). To my shock, I found a half-full cup of coffee sitting among the empty cups! "What the heck!" I could feel my eyes popping out, followed by my hysterical laughter. Alone in my house, freaking out my poor dogs, I howled till my eyes started streaming, and then I picked up the phone.

"Cindy!" I recorded something like this on her message machine: "Okay, I have officially topped you in the battle over who is more demented! I just found a half-full cup of coffee in my cupboard!" I could barely get out the words, I was guffawing so. She called me back within a few minutes, and we continued laughing together. She admitted that my "senior moment" topped all!

At least I called the cup "half-full."

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Blog--Not Meant as Onomatopoiea

When I first heard the word "blog," I didn't know it was a contraction of "web log." I thought of the word as onomatopoeia, because, after reading a few pointless rambling blogs, the word's sound--reminiscent of a burp or reflux noise--seemed an accurate representation of the verbal vomit I equated with "blog." Thank goodness I found out I was wrong.

As I read great blogger's posts, I found myself feeling overwhelmed by the wealth of ideas and talented communicators. Losing myself in perusing blogs, I felt simultaneously guilty and ashamed of "wasting" precious writing time. I wondered why these bloggers were not working instead on writing words for publication in traditional media--a more "credible" job. But then I started blogging...

Now I know why. And if you're reading my words right now, and maybe even smiling, then YOU know why, too.